Are Slip and Fall Injuries Covered by Homeowners Insurance?
Slip, trip and fall accidents can happen anywhere, including in a person’s home or driveway. If the homeowner could have prevented the slip and fall accident, the victim may be able to file an insurance claim to recover damages. Whether or not the property owner’s homeowners insurance company will cover the losses, however, depends on the circumstances.
Does the Property Owner Have Insurance?
If you get injured in a slip and fall, your first step toward recovery is determining whether the property owner has the correct type of insurance. Ask the property owner if he or she has homeowners or renters insurance at the scene of your fall. In general, a homeowners insurance policy will cover someone’s liability for an accident that occurs on his or her property.
Most policies in California offer a minimum of $100,000 in liability insurance. This type of insurance specifically covers medical and legal expenses related to a liability lawsuit. However, homeowners insurance may not pay for an accident that the homeowner maliciously or intentionally caused.
If the owner does have homeowners insurance, proceed with a slip and fall claim. If not, consult with a Los Angeles slip and fall attorney about whether or not to hold the homeowner responsible. In some cases, the homeowner can pay for losses out of pocket. In others, your lawyer may have to search for a third party to hold accountable instead.
Do You Have a Valid Claim?
In California, a slip and fall case is a premises liability lawsuit. Premises liability claims aim to hold property owners responsible for preventable falls that occur due to negligence. To successfully recover compensation for a slip and fall on someone else’s property, you will need to prove four main elements to the homeowners insurance company.
- You were lawfully on private property or on public property when your slip and fall injury occurred.
- The property owner knew or reasonably should have known about the dangerous property condition.
- The property owner failed to fix the condition when a reasonable or prudent owner would have.
- The property owner’s neglect to maintain the premises caused your injury and you suffered compensable losses.
In general, a homeowner will only be liable for a slip and fall if he or she negligently contributed to the accident. The insurance company will request evidence and documentation of its policyholder’s fault, such as an accident report, photographs, video surveillance footage, eyewitness statements, medical records and expert testimony. An attorney in California can help you collect evidence of fault and causation for a slip and fall, as well as negotiate with a homeowners insurance company on your behalf.
How To Hold a Homeowner Liable
If you suffer injuries in a slip and fall on someone else’s property, start collecting evidence immediately. Take photographs of the dangerous property defect and your injuries. Notify the property owner that you fell and were injured. Get the name of the homeowner’s insurance company. Write down the names of any eyewitnesses before you leave. Then, go to a hospital immediately for professional medical care.
Once you are on the mend from your physical injuries, file a report with the homeowner’s insurance company as soon as possible. If you wait too long, you could lose the right to recover. Handle the insurance process with care; most insurance companies try to save money by denying valid claims and diminishing payouts. Make sure you understand the full value of your injuries and losses before accepting a settlement offer.
If the insurance company denies coverage, speak to a premises liability lawyer for assistance. A lawyer can help you request an internal review of the case or else take the claim to trial. A successful slip and fall trial could pay for your medical bills, lost wages, property repairs and other expenses related to the homeowner’s negligence, such as pain and suffering. A lawyer can help you prove negligence and pursue maximum compensation from a homeowners insurance company after a slip and fall accident.